WHY VEGETABLES AND FRUITS ARE SO IMPORTANT
Vegetables and fruits contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants (awesome for your skin). They contribute to a healthy heart, lessen your risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers. They’re typically low in calories, so that ROCKS, since at our age we need to watch our calories.
As I’ve aged I’ve had to cut back on my complex carbs which cuts down on calories. I’ve replaced those breads, pastas and potatoes (yes, hated it!) with vegetables. Fruits are okay and I really ave nothing against them except that they’re higher in sugar which is also not good for you.
Odd as it seems to me, people actually ask me, “How do you prepare vegetables?” Weird, huh?
Here’s how I manage to consume AT LEAST 5 veggies and fruits per day:
1. Breakfast – I have a six egg white omelet wrap (with an Ole Extreme Wellness tortilla) or scramble six egg whites and add a side of Ezekiel toast. I sprinkle pre-chopped red or green bell pepper on top while I’m cooking my omelet. The secret trick: Shhhhhh! Beat into the egg whites one tablespoon of fat-free sour cream so they’re not rubbery. Bell pepper gives you much-needed vitamin C first thing in the morning.
2. Snack #1 – One apple with a 50 calorie mozzarella stick OR 1/2 cup of plain non-fat Greek yogurt with 1/2 berries + protein powder + toss in some Bran Buds for extra fiber!
3. & 4. Lunch – A bowl, as much as I want, of broccoli slaw ( broccoli, carrots, cabbage) with four ounces of cooked chicken breast and one tablespoon light ranch dressing. OR… a bowl full of spinach, chopped carrot, celery, with cooked chicken breast or a can of drained albacore tuna. Sometimes I add five whole wheat crackers.
5. & 6. Dinner – Lots of stir-fried veggies, a skillet full of squash, asparagus, onions, green beans, bell pepper, cauliflower, or zucchini. You can combine these or not, cook them quickly in about 1 teaspoon of hot organic coconut oil. I add salmon or chicken ( 4-5 ounces) for my protein.
I also have a snack of 100 calorie popcorn when I get home so I actually eat six times a day.
So by having one and two vegetables at breakfast, lunch and dinner I consume five veggies. My snack adds in my one fruit which is all I want (it’s the sugar thing). I feel healthy and good almost all the time and it’s really because of my healthy diet. I can pack my lunch and snack #1 while my eggs are cooking in the morning. I actually timed it and it took me 7 minutes to prepare the three meals! This diet really is simple. I am not that crazy about cooking and I can streamline this so that I barely cook but I still eat frequently.
Now is the time to start making sure you eat plenty of vegetables.
I have lots of different ways that I prepare them ( and will share them on this website) but this should get you started on a healthy habit for now.
What’s your healthy way to prepare your fave vegetable? Any new ideas? Leave me your suggestions in the comments!